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Top 10 Horror Remakes of the 21st Century

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Horror fans often times groan at the prospect of another remake. It’s certainly become a trend to take a movie franchise with an established following and remake it for today’s audiences. Detractors of remakes often see them as a quick cash grab that will damage the reputation of their beloved favorites.

Defenders of the remake will cite that some of the best horror movies are actually remakes. Movies such as The Thing (1982) and The Fly (1986) come to mind as remakes that surpassed the originals. These are an easy go-to when naming favorite horror remakes.

Horror remakes became a huge trend starting in the 21st century. There have been so many in the last 17 years that if someone were to ask a group of people their favorite horror remakes of the 21st century, you’d get an assortment of answers. Here is a Top 10 list of our favorites.

10. Friday the 13th (2009)

If this were a list of the “Top First 25 Minutes of Horror Remakes” then Friday the 13th might run away with the top spot. The first 25 minutes of Friday the 13th almost plays as its own crazy mini-movie. Other than the insane opening, Friday the 13th doesn’t bring anything new to the series. Taking plenty of nods and elements from the original series, it knows what works and sticks to it. In this case, that’s a good thing.

9. My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)

My Bloody Valentine’s best attribute is that it does not take itself too seriously. It knows exactly what it wants to be and works it to perfection. The dialogue is cheesy, the effects are gimmicky, and the kills are absurd. Most of all, it’s just a bloody good time.

8. Piranha 3D (2010)

Piranha 3D is another exhibition in not taking yourself too seriously. Everything is delivered in excess including gore, beach bodies, and wacky performances. A movie that is so filled with glee you can imagine the cast having a blast making it. And what a cast it is. Everyone from Eli Roth to Christopher Lloyd shows up for this joyous horror comedy.

7. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead pays respect to the original film while ramping up the carnage. It takes a page out of 28 Days Later book by making the zombies incredibly fast. It also features one of the best opening scenes in a horror movie. With no context we get a young girl attacking her neighbors, killing the husband. The wife is able to escape to the outside, only to realize the whole world is going to hell.

6. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake had big shoes to fill if it were to match the intensity of the original. While it didn’t quite reach the heights of the original it still made for intense thrill ride, mostly in thanks to R. Lee Ermey. We all remember Ermey’s sergeant from Full Metal Jacket. Imagine that character but even more sadistic. A scene where Ermey demands that a tormented teen shoot him has the tension bursting through our skin.

5. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

Alexandre Aja’s second entry on our list (Piranha 3D) is very different than the first. There are not many laughs in the remake of Wes Craven’s 1977 original. Brutal visuals and a breakneck pace makes this horror remake stand out. Some even say it is a step above the original. The Hills Have Eyes not only brings the horror goods, but also has great subtext on the nature of man and what they will do when pushed to their breaking point.

4. Let Me In (2010)

Let Me In is a remake of the 2008 Swedish film Let the Right One In. With just two years between the two, it is the shortest time between original and remake on our list. Let Me In is similar to the original, which in this case is a good thing. Focusing on the relationship between the two leads, we get an elegant story of childhood, friendship, and love while still providing plenty of thrills.

3. The Crazies (2010) 

The Crazies is an incredibly tense film about a small town gone mad. It works in similar ways to classic horror films such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Thing, placing you in a scenario where you’re not sure whom you can trust. The monster can be your neighbor, your best friend, or even yourself and you wouldn’t know it until it’s too late. It also boasts the scariest scene featuring a baseball field you’ll ever see.

2. The Ring (2002)

The oldest movie on our list is also one of the best. The Ring is a remake of the 1998 Japanese film Ringu. Shades of gray and black make up most of the film’s color palette. That and what seems to be a never-ending rainstorm create a somber sense of dread throughout the entire movie. The Ring’s unique atmosphere is what makes it so effective. It’s an atmosphere that gives viewers a great anxiety until it’s finally released through some of movie’s splendid scares.

1. Evil Dead (2013)

Remember what I said earlier about it being a good thing to not take yourself too seriously? Well forget about that for Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead. Evil Dead takes away the humor that made the original series so great and replaces it with an incredible spectacle of gore-filled insanity. This includes a finale where blood literally rains from the sky. It shares some of the simple premise of the original but forms its own originality through its unique style. Evil Dead is truly one of the great horror movies of the 21st century.

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New Insidious: The Last Key Trailer Speaks Softly But Carries a Big Whistle

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The last word we brought you guys on the fourth installment in the Insidious franchise was when we let you know the new film had snagged a PG-13 rating from the MPAA for “disturbing thematic content, violence and terror, and brief strong language”.

Today we have a new trailer/TV spot for Insidious: The Last Key, and if you aren’t already on board for a fourth round of spooky shite courtesy of screenwriter Leigh Whannel, maybe this quick trailer will do the trick.

You can check out the new trailer below; then let us know how excited you are for Insidious: The Last Key!

I’m digging what I’ve seen from the new film thus far, and this new trailer only strengthens that. Plus I’m excited to see what director Adam Robitel can do with this series after his fucking terrifying previous film The Taking of Deborah Logan.

The film is directed by Adam Robitel from a script by Leigh Whannell and stars Lin Shaye, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell, Josh Stewart, Caitlin Gerard, Kirk Acevedo, Javier Botet, Bruce Davison, Spencer Locke, Tessa Ferrer, Ava Kolker, and Marcus Henderson.

Insidious: The Last Key hits theaters January 5, 2018.

Synopsis:

Parapsychologist Elise Rainier and her team travel to Five Keys, N.M., to investigate a man’s claim of a haunting. Terror soon strikes when Rainier realizes that the house he lives in was her family’s old home.

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Luke Genton’s The Bone Box Trailer Proves Not All Graves Are Quiet

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Sometimes a fright flick comes along that sells me on the logline itself. And writer-director Luke Genton’s upcoming supernatural horror movie The Bone Box has just such a premise.

The film follows the story of a grave robber who comes to believe he’s being haunted by those he stole from. And if that premise doesn’t sell you on at least checking out the film’s trailer, I don’t know what to do for you.

Speaking of the trailer, you can check it out below. Then let us know what you think below!

The film stars Gareth Koorzen (The Black That Follows), Michelle Krusiec (The Invitation), and Maria Olsen (Starry Eyes), Jamie Bernadette (I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu), David Chokachi (Baywatch), Aaron Schwartz (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), and Tess Bellomo (Liked).

Look for updates on Facebook HERE and the Director’s Instagram: @lukegenton.

The Bone Box is currently in post-production. It is scheduled to be completed by November 2017 and is seeking distribution.

Synopsis:

Depressed and reeling from the recent death of his wife, Tom (Koorzen) has built up quite a gambling debt. He goes to stay with his wealthy Aunt Florence (Olsen) in hopes that she will write him into her will. When a nasty creditor makes it clear that Tom is out of time, he devises a plan with Elodie (Krusiec), the undertaker’s daughter, to rob the graves of the rich townspeople buried in the cemetery across the road. After plundering the graves, Tom begins hearing and seeing strange things that seem to coincide with the deaths of the people he robbed. Even more disconcerting… he appears to be the only one sensing the occurrences. One question lingers: Is Tom’s conscience playing a trick on him… or is he really being haunted by those he stole from?

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Last Meeple Standing

H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport Festival: The Card Game, Overview and Review – Last Meeple Standing

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Yeah, I know. I’ve said it before, and I will scream it to the heavens again: There is an abysmal glut of Lovecraft Mythos games out there (and still streaming into the market). For a while there, it was vampire games (wanna take a sparkly guess why?). Then, it was zombie games (only Robert Kirkman knows why). Now it is Lovecraft games, and it is a LOT of them. Shambling, fish-headed masses of them, weighing down the game shop shelves like heavily laden buckets of freshly shorn tentacles (calm down, hentai fans). It’s true, and a lot of them seem to be sad doppelgangers of other games, just skinned with a rotting coat of Elder God goo.

Photo Credit: Tiffany Hahn

For that reason, it is nice to run across a Lovecraft-themed game that is GOOD. H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport Festival: The Card Game is one of those… it’s good, but it’s not great (for ONE painful reason). But, for our nefarious purposes today, that’s good enough. The stars are PARTIALLY in alignment. There is one little detail to get out of the way before we wade into the spawn-infested miasma of this game: it is the hellish offspring of an earlier, more complex game called (you guessed it) H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport Festival the board game. Much has been said about the relationship between these two games and many comparisons have been made, but since I neither own the board game nor have I played it, let’s leave it to fester in cold, barren space all by its lonesome for now. I’m sure its time will come…when the stars are right (rolling his eyes).

COMPONENTS:
It is RARE (like fresh Deep One filets) that the components of a game are as nice as the gameplay, but there are two elements of Kingsport Festival: TCG that really make it shine. The first is the titular cards that make up the bulk of the game. The artwork on the tarot-sized cards depicting the various gods, lesser gods, demons, and evil corgis (I kid) from the Mythos is dark and shows off the creatures to good/evil effect. I have to admit that these are some of my favorite depictions of the creatures from Lovecraft’s mind I’ve seen. They really look threatening here. The portraits on the cards presenting the investigators/evil cultists look dignified, a little creepy, and mysterious, as is only right for nogoodniks taking on Cthulhu’s worst. The graphic design is really classy with easily interpreted iconography and border artwork. Equal care has been taken with the backs of the cards, which have appropriately aged and Victorian elements. The only parts to this game are the cards and the dice. Wait, this is a card game, right?

Well, yes and no.

Although cards make up the lion’s share of the game, there is a heavy dice aspect as well, and these are some NICE dice. I’m a SUCKER for custom dice, and Kingsport Festival: TCG comes loaded with them. There are three types of dice: a white d10 with a clock icon on one face, brain-pink (a nice touch) d12 dice representing the player’s sanity with a Sanity icon on one face, and grey Domain d6 dice with three types of domain faces: purple Evil, black Death, and red Destruction. All of the dice are high-quality and engraved, not printed, with easily recognizable faces for ease of play and match up nicely with the icons on the game’s cards. Squee! Wonderfully evil custom dice!

SETUP:
Set up is pretty basic. All of the cards depicting the horrid gods are displayed in order of their power in six rows within reach of all of the players. The total number of copies of each type of god card is dictated by how many people are playing, so the number varies. Each player gets one of the brain-ilicious d12s with which to track their sanity and sets it to 10. All players white timer die, with the high roller taking the role of the starting player. Then each player sets their Sanity die to 10 (yes, the value can be increased up to 12 through game effects. That player takes the white d10 and sets it to the clock face. Players can pick an investigator card, but I suggest dealing them out at random to each player to liven things up (before they get driven insane, of course).

GAMEPLAY:
Gameplay is equally simple, yet strangely engaging. The first player takes the white timer d10, passes it to the next player to their left, who turns it to the number 1, effectively creating a timer that will count up from 1 to 10, ending the game. That player becomes the starting player. Once the white die is passed, the passing player increases their Sanity by one, as will be the mechanic throughout the rest of the game.

At the start of a game, the players will have no cards in their hands. They acquire them throughout the game, but we’ll talk about a general turn. The starting player rolls one of the domain dice and notes the resultant face. If they have cards to play, now is when they would play them. The card effects are varied. They might instruct the player to roll more dice, add specified domains to their pool of domains, change rolled die faces, etc. There are many possibilities. After the player has played all the cards they wish to and resolved the card effects, the player may spend the resources/domains gained through the dice they’ve rolled and the cards they have played to buy ONE god from the displayed cards and add it to their hand. It should be noted that players are limited to one and only one copy of each available god.

Once the player has completed their turn, they check to see if the round indicator on the white d10 matches one of the Raid rounds shown on the investigator card at the very bottom. If the numbers match, the player must compare the Gun icons on his cards to the strength of the raid indicated on his character card. If the Cultist’s strength is greater, he gains the difference in Sanity points. If the Cultist’s strength matches the Raid strength, they neither gain nor lose Sanity. If the Cultist’s strength is less than the Raid strength, they lose the difference in Sanity points. After this, the next player to the left will take their turn.

WINNING:
The game ends at the end of the ninth round, unless a Cultist is able to invoke the Elder God Azathoth, which results in dogs and cats sleeping together (no, not really). The cultists look at all of their god cards and add up the Elder God symbols at the bottom of each card. The Cultist with the most Elder God symbols/points at the end of the game WINS!

FINAL THOUGHTS:
So, there you have it: an epic battle between creepy Cultists and ghoulish Gods in one rather small box. I’ll get to the point. I really like H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport Festival: The Card Game. I happen to be fond of little filler games like this. The box lists the playtime for this game as 30 min, but once the players know the rules, you can cut playtime down to 20 min, easy. It lists the age limit at 13+, which I think is absurd. There is nothing in the theme or artwork that would preclude players 10 and up from playing, other than rule complexity. Between the awesome art, the devilish dice, and the rad rules (ugh…), there is not much to dislike about this game… other than the hellish rules. You may be asking what I mean. The rules seem easy. They ARE. It’s the rulebook that is a pain in the neck. For some reason, the graphic designer (I’m looking at you, Savini -no, not Tom-) decided to print all of the rule examples in the book in a nearly unreadable “old-timey” font that is TINY. I think they thought they were adding flavor. If so, that flavor is YUCKY. When learning a new game, you want crystal-clear rules, not something you have to squint and struggle over, like this sad, arcane tome. The same hellish font appears on the cards in places, as well, making me one unhappy game collector. You may look past it, but I had a hard time doing so. Other than that, though, the game is great fun, a nice way to fill in time between bigger games, and beautiful to look at. You make your own judgement.

PRODUCT DETAILS:
Designer: Gianluca Santopietro
Artist: Maichol Quinto and Demis Savini
Publisher: Passport Games/ Giochi Uniti
Published: 2016
Players/Playtime/Age Rating: 3 -5 players/30 min/13+ (seriously?)

RATING:
3/5


Last Meeple Standing is brought to you by Villainous Lair Comics & Games, the ultimate destination for board game fanatics in Southern California. For more information visit the official Villainous Lair Comics & Games website, “Like” the Villainous Lair Facebook page and be sure to follow Villainous Lair on Twitter and Instagram.

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